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How to Record Video Like a Pro with Your Smartphone

How to Record Video Like a Pro with Your Smartphone

Nowadays, individuals can become master videographers simply with the gadgets they have in their pockets every day: their cell phones. With smartphones, including the iPhone 5, having the ability to shoot up to 1080p video quality, your videos can compete very well with the likes of some DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras. While I am not going to convince you to post your DSLR on eBay, I will show you today how the average consumer can find value in the video quality their own smartphone’s possess, without having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on more gadgets.

Understanding the Pixels

image1_videography

    In videography, the most common options for resolutions are 240p, 480p, 720p, and 1080p. The “p” at the end stands for “pixel” and refers to the resolution that the device or camera can capture. The higher the pixel-age, the better the quality. Unlike photography, where megapixels aren’t necessarily appreciated past a certain degree (like 12-15 megapixels) unless the photo is blown up or highly processed, video resolution changes are more apparent. The resolution of a 720p and 1080p video is noticeably different from a 480p video. This is important to consider if you are looking into using your smartphone for specific cinematographic purposes.

    Why Lighting Counts

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    light difference

      Have you ever wondered why your phone is horrible with handling light? Your subject may look overly saturated (too much light) or inaccurately darker on camera. This all deals with your phone camera’s aperture size.

      Aperture translates to how much light your lens lets in: the larger the aperture, the more light is let in, which equals an improved image quality. Since our cameras are small on our phones, their lens are small as well, which means that not as much light is let inwe have to adjust and consider adding our own lighting when making use of our phone’s video capabilities.

      You don’t have to have studio lighting on hand: achieving good lighting on the fly involves making use of sunlight correctly with outdoor video and knowing when to use lamps while indoors. Flash is something that should be used as a last resort: flashes often give off a florescent light, which is what washes out the skin of your subject in a video. Plus, when used continuously when shooting a video, it can kill your battery life. Use flash only when you’re in a place of very little to no lighting.

      Go to Your Subject

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      image2_videography

        In videography, your main concern is to ensure that quality is maintained to prevent  the quality from decreasing even more post-production. One surefire way to reduce your video quality is by using zoom. Unlike a DSLR camera, where you have a detachable, zoom lens that adjusts like a microscope (optical zoom), the zoom on most camera phones simply magnify the image at hand (digital zoom). This leads to pixelationa reduction in video quality.

        Instead of zooming in, you should go to the subject you are attempting to focus on. While I was in Costa Rica this spring, when I wanted to take a video of a Macaw, I found placing my iPhone lens in front of binoculars allowed the binocular lens to act as the perfect form of zoom without manipulating the quality. This may be a great idea to look into if you must take a video of a subject that’s far away.

        iPhone Hacks

        Your iPhone camera comes with features on board that can help you ensure that your videos come out clear and organized. The first iPhone trick is the ability to lock the autofocus and white balance in your video. This is helpful if your subject is stationary, for example in an interview or to shoot macro video shots. To lock in autofocus and white balance, simply press and hold on the screen on the subject at hand. Do this until the bottom of the camera screen says AF/WB Lock.

        If you have the iPhone 5, you are able to take photos while making a video. Simply click the camera button at the upper right hand corner of the screen while the iPhone is recording. The third trick for video capture on iPhone is the ability to trim your video after recording. To do so, simply click either end of the top of the screen that shows the video progression. You’ll then see it turn yellow, allowing you to shorten the clip as much or as little as possible. While these hacks are cool and all, you may be looking for a bit more. No worries, we have four apps that offer extra features.

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        Your Mobile Camera Bag

        Below are three applications that are very helpful with video editing, transformation, and sharing.

        imovie 1
          imovie 2

            iMovie
            – If you are looking to go above and beyond what your iPhone can do with video out of the box, iMovie is the safe choice to go with while still sticking with Apple-made programs. iMovie, working in a similar way with the desktop version, for iOS allows you to piece together multiple clips, add audio, templates, and more. This is all possible without even touching a computer. Plus, the ability to send to YouTube and other sharing websites makes for $4.99 price tag easy to swallow.

            stopmotion 1
              stopmotion 2

                StopMotion Recorder – StopMotion is when you make use of photographs to piece

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                together a movie clip. StopMotion Recorder makes this easy to do while on the go. You can make use of audio, time-interval automatic shooting, add styles, adjust frame speed, and even take advantage of the app’s sharing options. $0.99.

                youtube capture
                  youtube capture 2

                    YouTube Capture – YouTube is the one-stop shop for just about any hot video on YouTube. Hundreds and thousands of video creators go onto YouTube to show off their talents, with millions of videos created from various formats. YouTube Capture allows you to easily get your video out while on the go. Plus, this offers an uploading option and customizability that isn’t available with iOS 6.

                    Your smartphone can unleash multiple ways in which you can make your videos turn into cinematic masterpieces. While you won’t have the features that come with DSLRs, like manual focusing and scene selections, the iPhone and other mobile devices are moving toward a trend where the quality isn’t too far from larger cameras. Since 2011, as seen with movies like Olive and The Swarm, Hollywood is catching on to this mobile trend. Let us know in the comments below on how you’ve been able to transform how you capture video while on the go.

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                    40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                    40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                    Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                    There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                    Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                    It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                    Productivity apps to help you get things done

                    1. OmniFocus

                    This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                    Download it here.

                      2. Forest

                      Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                      Download it here.

                        3. Things

                        Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                        Download it here.

                          4. 30/30

                          Recently covered here at Lifehack

                          , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                          Download it here.

                            5. Any.Do

                            A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                            Download it here.

                              6. PocketLife Calendar

                              This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                              Download it here.

                                7. Asana

                                We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                Download it here.

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                                  8. ToDoist

                                  This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                  Download it here.

                                    9. FlowTasks

                                    From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                    Download it here.

                                      10. Calendars 5

                                      This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                      Download it here.

                                        11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                        A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                        Download it here.

                                          12. Due

                                          A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                          Download it here.

                                            13. Checkmark 2

                                            I use this app

                                            for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                            Download it here.

                                              14. TeuxDeux

                                              Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                              Download it here.

                                                15. Wunderlist 

                                                Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                Download it here.

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                                                  16. Nirvana

                                                  For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    17. Priorities

                                                    An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                      18. Productive

                                                      With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                        You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          20. Streaks

                                                          This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            21. Remember The Milk

                                                            Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              22. Day One Journal

                                                              When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                23. Evernote

                                                                Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  24. Pocket

                                                                  You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                  Download it here.

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                                                                    25. Sync.Me

                                                                    This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      26. Droplr

                                                                      One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        27. Dropbox

                                                                        Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          28. iDolly 

                                                                          In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                          Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            29. Soulver

                                                                            It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                              30. Captio

                                                                              A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                31. Drafts

                                                                                A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                  This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                  Download it here.

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                                                                                    33. Doodle

                                                                                    This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                      I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                        A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          36. GoodReader

                                                                                          This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            37. LogMeIn

                                                                                            Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                              38. 1Password

                                                                                              There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  40. Truecallers

                                                                                                  Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                    Reference

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